Volume 7 Issue 1

Ethnonyms in Europe and Asia: Studies in History and Anthropology

Zsuzsanna Zsidai
Special Editor of the Thematic Issue

Contents

Articles

Walter Pohl
Ethnonyms and Early Medieval Ethnicity: Methodological Reflections    5

Abstract

Abstract

The paper deals with the significance of ethnonyms for the study of early medieval ethnicity. The historiographic sources are full of names of peoples, and endow them with collective agency. That may not prove that all of these peoples had strong ethnic identities. But it attests to the general use of ethnicity as a cognitive device to differentiate between large social groupings who were relevant actors on the political scene. In this scheme, ethnonyms are fundamental. ‘Ethnicity’ as a system of distinctions between collective social actors and ‘ethnic identity’ as the result of a series of identifications are of course closely linked, but they represent different aspects of ‘the ethnic’. Therefore, ethnonyms do not necessarily reflect ethnic self-identification of the group concerned, although they often do. What they attest to is some shared belief that humans can be distinguished by ethnonyms, that is, on the basis of ‘natural’ affiliations that people are born with.
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Odile Kommer, Salvatore Liccardo, Andrea Nowak
Comparative Approaches to Ethnonyms: The Case of the Persians    18

Abstract

Abstract

This article examines ethnonyms for Persians in Medieval Latin, Greek, and Arabic sources. These ethnonyms are part of ethnic terminologies which changed over time and varied in different regional contexts. The ethnonyms for Persians are approached in different textual genres from a combination of historiographical, philological, and social anthropological perspectives. In the first part, the investigation of Persians in Late Antique source material sets out from the Tabula Peutingeriana and examines the entries on the map which refer to the Persians, highlighting both their ethnic and political meanings. The second part deals with source material on medieval South Arabia. First, it focuses on the texts of the tenth-century Yemeni scholar al-Hamdānī and his use of a set of ethnonyms for the Persian minority population, of which each term evokes a different association. This is followed by an analysis of the early thirteenth-century account of Persian traveler Ibn al-Mujāwir, in which the roles and meanings of ethnonyms for Persians in different narrative units are discussed. This case study shows that there are interdependencies between ethnonyms and other means of identification, such as language, lifestyle, place of dwelling, kinship, descent, and the division of the world into different spatial and ideological realms. The case of the Persians illustrates how the authors under discussion used ethnonyms as part of narrative strategies which support processes of selfing and othering.
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Zsuzsanna Zsidai
Some Thoughts on the Translation and Interpretation of Terms Describing Turkic Peoples in Medieval Arabic Sources    57

Abstract

Abstract

The identification of the various peoples who lived on the medieval Eurasian Steppe has always been an engaging problem among scholars of the early history of this territory. The Arabs came into contact with Central Asian peoples from the beginning in the seventh century, during the course of the Islamic conquest. Hence, one finds many details about the peoples of the Steppe in the Arabic sources.
The Arabic geographer Ibn Rusta mentions the Hungarians among the Turkic peoples in the beginning of the tenth century. However, according to the Arabic sources, there were many Turkic tribes or peoples in different regions, such in Ferghana, Khorasan, Transoxania, Samarqand, and near Armenia. Based on this fact, the term “Turk” can be interpreted in different ways. My aim is to indicate some of the difficulties concerning the translation and interpretation of the terms referring to peoples or tribes, such as “jins” and “qawm,” and to give some examples of occurrences of the ethnonym “Turk” in medieval Arabic texts. I begin with a discussion of the relevant methodological questions and then argue that the designation “Turk” should be used more cautiously as a group-identifying term in the wider context of the early Medieval world of the Eurasian Steppe.
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György Szabados
Magyar – A Name for Persons, Places, Communities    82

Abstract

Abstract

With a name, we identify a community. But if we consider how people assigned and used names in the early Middle Ages, we are confronted with limits and problems. On the one hand, communities were organized in several ways, and the different kinds of identities (e.g. person, state, clan, ethnic group) can be confusing and thus can be confused. On the other hand, the history of a name and the object it denotes can lead in different directions: a name could identify more peoples or groups, and conversely, a single ethnic group could have many denominations. “Magyar” is now the vernacular name of the Hungarians who first emerged as a distinct group in the ninth century, but this noun appeared much earlier and not in a group-identifying function. Around the year 530, a Kutrigur-Hunnic king lived who was mentioned as “Muageris” by Byzantine authors. Some scholars have observed the similarity between the name “Muageris” and the ethnonym “Magyar.” Another Byzantine work (De Administrando Imperio ca. 950) enumerates the “clan of Meger” among the “Turk” [Hungarian] clans, and centuries later the Hungarian gestas and chronicles mention “Hetumoger,” “het Mogor” as “seven Hungarians.” If one compares the Byzantine sources with internal sources, it is possible that King “Muageris” can be inserted into the frame of the written data. The noun “Magyar” had four coherent functions. It was used as 1) a personal name, “Muageris” and “Magor,” the latter of whom was one of the forefathers of the Hungarians according to their original ethnic myth; 2) a toponym for the ancient homeland, i.e. the Hungarian chronicles use “Magor” for “Scythia” or “Magoria” to refer to part of “Scythia”; 3) the name of one of the leading clans, the clan of “Meger”; and 4) an ethnic name, i.e. “Hetumoger” or “het Mogor” as ‘seven Hungarians’.
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Dávid Somfai Kara
The Formation of Modern Turkic ‘Ethnic’ Groups in Central and Inner Asia     98

Abstract

Abstract

International Asian studies, including Asian studies in Hungary, have examined several livestock breeding and horse-riding nomadic groups which provide additional data for hypotheses concerning the social structure of the pre-Conquest Hungarians. Some important questions related to the early history of Hungarians cannot be examined due to the lack of written historical data. But we do have written data related to Central and Inner Asia (the so-called Steppe Region) from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and sometimes from much earlier periods. One of these problems is the relationship between etic and emic terms for various “peoples.” Another is the appearance of ethnonyms on different levels (ethnic, sub-ethnic, clan, and sub-clan) among various ethnic groups. One might well wonder whether it is really appropriate to use ethnonyms as designations for these ethnic groups. After all, several modern ethnic groups were formed only in recent times, and the ethnonyms which are used to refer to them (today autonyms) are the result of political (not ethnic) processes, and they are sometimes the decision of a small group. Similar processes can be observed in Europe in early medieval times. Ethnic names have also undergone rapid changes, and it is interesting to observe attempts to create a national history for these modern ethnic groups, and the obvious shortcomings of these attempts.
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László Koppány Csáji
Ethnic Levels and Ethnonyms in Shifting Context: Ethnic Terminology in Hunza (Pakistan)    111

Abstract

Abstract

This paper constitutes an attempt to unravel the complexity of ethnic levels and ethnonyms, and to outline the roles of “origin,” “language,” “locality,” and “social solidarity” in the ethnic identities of the Hunza, using the methods of anthropological studies on ethnicity, discourse analysis and cognitive semantics.  The former kingdom of Hunza (now in the Pakistani controlled Kashmir). It is not obvious what one can call the ethnic level in Hunza. Ethnonyms do not have set definitions. There are overlapping categories of ethnic and quasi-ethnic perspectives. The notion that an ethnic group is based on a strict unit of origin, language, and territory seems to be false. Ethnic levels appear in constantly changing registers of personal knowledge, which only partially overlap. However, the discourse in which the inhabitants of Hunza express and experience their ethnic perceptions is an existing communicational frame, even if it contains relatively fluid and constantly changing elements of narratives, experiences, emotions, and values. The notion of Hunzakuts is seemingly a politonym, but it is also a local unit. The Burusho, Dom, Xik, Shina etc. are seemingly language based endonyms, but kinship, cultural relations, historical coexistence, administrative frames, language, and religiosity can all influence these ethnic perspectives. I delineated the essence of my explanation in a table, showing the complexity of ethnonyms used in social interactions. A native speaker has all these concepts in his or her mind, and in any particular situation, the relevant meanings are called forth. Ethnic identity is a set of different attachments, as frames of a person’s ethnic perceptions and behavior. Ethnicity is a kind of knowledge: participating in a discourse, sharing more or less common narratives, emotions, experiences, and values. Ethnicity is also a recognition: placing someone in the social environment, and it is also the foundation for meaningful and relevant relations. Finally, ethnicity is a practical tool of communication: ethnic perceptions and categories appear in conversation nearly always for a particular purpose.
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FEATURED REVIEW
A szovjet tényező: Szovjet tanácsadók Magyarországon [The Soviet factor: Soviet advisors in Hungary]. By Magdolna Baráth. Reviewed by Andrea Pető    136
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BOOK REVIEWS
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“A Pearl of Powerful Learning:” The University of Cracow in the Fifteenth Century. By Paul W. Knoll. (Education and Society in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, 52.) Reviewed by Borbála Kelényi    142

Writing History in Medieval Poland: Bishop Vincentius of Cracow and the Chronica Polonorum. Edited by Darius von Güttner-Sporzyński. (Cursor Mundi 28.) Reviewed by Dániel Bagi    145

Kaiser Karl IV. 1316–2016. Ausstellungskatalog Erste Bayerisch-Tschechische Landesausstellung. Edited by Jiří Fajt and Markus Hörsch. Reviewed by Balázs Nagy    148

The Art of Memory in Late Medieval Central Europe (Czech Lands, Hungary, Poland). By Lucie Doležalová, Farkas Gábor Kiss, and Rafał Wójcik. Reviewed by Emőke Rita Szilágyi    152

Workers and Nationalism: Czech and German Social Democracy in Habsburg Austria, 1890–1918. By Jakub S. Beneš. Reviewed by Peter Bugge    155

Die Habsburgermonarchie und die Slowenen im 1. Weltkrieg. By Walter Lukan. (Austriaca 11.) Reviewed by Rok Stergar    159

Radikálisok, szabadgondolkodók, ateisták: A Galilei Kör története (1908–1919) [Radicals, freethinkers, atheists: The history of the Galileo Circle 1908–1919]. By Péter Csunderlik. Reviewed by Eszter Balázs    163

Europe’s Balkan Muslims: A New History. By Nathalie Clayer and Xavier Bougarel. Translated by Andrew Kirby. Reviewed by Cecilie Endresen    166

A magyarországi németek története. [The history of the Germans of Hungary]. By Gerhard Seewann. Translated by Zsolt Vitári. Reviewed by Ágnes Tóth    170

Export Empire: German Soft Power in Southeastern Europe, 1890–1945. By Stephan Gross. Reviewed by Vera Asenova    175

A terror hétköznapjai: A kádári megtorlás, 1956–1963 [The everyday weekdays of terror: The reprisals of the Kádár Regime, 1956–1963]. By Zsuzsanna Mikó. Reviewed by Gábor Tabajdi    179

Gender in 20th Century Eastern Europe and the USSR. Edited by Catherine Baker. Reviewed by Dóra Czeferner    184

A Contemporary History of Exclusion: The Roma Issue in Hungary from 1945 to 2015. By Balázs Majtényi and György Majtényi. Reviewed by Csaba Dupcsik    187

Volume 5 Issue 4

Medieval Economic History

Boglárka Weisz and Tamás Pálosfalvi
Special Editors of the Thematic Issue

Contents

Articles

Krisztina Arany

Florentine Families in Hungary in the First Half of the Fifteenth Century

Abstract

Abstract

This essay, based on a prosopographic database backed by extensive archival research both in Florence and Hungary, offers an overview on the patterns of the presence of Florentine merchants in medieval Hungary. Among the research questions, the Florentine businessmen’s main fields of interest in the kingdom are of utmost importance, because their interests shaped the patterns of their presence in the kingdom. Also, their financial and economic background in Florence significantly influenced the opportunities they had in Hungary. Thus, the forms of cooperation within the closer local and extended international networks within which they moved prove to be revealing with regards to business as it was run in Hungary. The reconstruction of this network also allows us to identify clusters of Florentine business partners residing in Florence who were investing in Hungary by cooperating with their fellow countrymen actively present in the country. I also offer a detailed analysis of the Florentines’ use of credit in Hungary, focusing on both commercial and money credit transactions and the various forms of transactions used to run business ventures there. Finally, I examine Buda’s role as a royal seat and major trade hub from the point of view of the two major foreign trading diasporas hosted in the town, the Italian/Florentine and southern German ethnic groups. I offer a comparative analysis of their interaction and the different patterns of their social ambitions and economic activity in Buda.
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Katalin Prajda

Florentines’ Trade in the Kingdom of Hungary in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries: Trade Routes, Networks, and Commodities

Abstract

Abstract

The article proposes to analyze some general characteristics of Florentine merchants’ trade in the Kingdom of Hungary in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries on the basis of written sources housed predominantly by various Italian archives. It opens with a new evaluation of the importance of Florentine merchants in long-distance trade by examining examples of the organizational framework of their enterprises in the town of Buda during the reign of Sigismund of Luxembourg (1387–1437). It also looks at the well-known cases of the families that were engaged in trade in Hungary, beginning with the period of Louis I (1342–82) and ending with the reign of Matthias Corvinus (1458–90). The second subchapter concentrates on the commodities transported by Florentines between the two states by describing their nature and their quantitative and qualitative features mentioned in the documents. Among the commercial goods, the article considers the import and export of metals like gold, silver, and copper, as well as Florentine silk and wool. It also mentions exotic animals and spices transported from extra-European territories. The third part of the article offers a reconstruction of the outreach of the Florentine network operating in Hungary, with particular consideration of its most important markets for raw materials and luxury goods. The fourth subchapter discusses the commercial routes used by Florentines when transporting their goods between the towns of Buda and Florence, emphasizing the importance of Venice as a major trading hub along the route. The conclusion puts the Florentines’ trade in Hungary into a broader picture of international trade, and it draws connections between the development of the Florentine silk industry, for which the city became famous, and the marketing of its finished products in Hungary.
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István Draskóczy

Austrian Salt in Pozsony in the Mid-Fifteenth Century

Abstract

Abstract

In this essay, I explore how the city of Pozsony (Preßburg, today Bratislava, Slovakia), which lies in the valley of the Danube River on what was once the most important trade route connecting the Kingdom of Hungary with Western Europe, managed to acquire Austrian salt, an import that, in general, was forbidden by the rulers. The city facilitated this not only by obtaining a number of privileges, but also by farming the tax collected in the city on foreign trade, the so-called “thirtieth” (tricesima). In practice, however, this could only be done in varying ways. In the course of my research, it also became clear that Pozsony needed Austrian salt for a variety of reasons. The city was distant from the salt mines, so the Transylvanian salt that was brought to the borderlands in the west was already very expensive. In many cases, however, none of the salt that was produced in the country even made it to Pozsony because of the complications posed by transportation, the deficiencies of the fiscal system, and fluctuations in production. The Austrian salt mines, in contrast, were relatively nearby, the cooked salt that was produced at these mines was essentially consistent in its quality, and it was also less expensive. In this essay, I also examine how the quantities of salt that were imported from Austria changed in various periods and how the city marketed excess salt in other parts of the country. Naturally, the people of Pozsony were not able to sell the salt in the entire territory of Hungary. My analysis indicates that the market for this salt was limited to the County of Pozsony itself, part of Nyitra County, the part of Komárom County to the north of the Danube River, and parts of Győr and Moson Counties.
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Maxim Mordovin

Bavarian Cloth Seals in Hungary

Abstract

Abstract

The import of cloth was one of the most important sectors of international trade throughout the European Middle Ages and early modern period. Its history and impact on medieval economies have been studied by scholars for quite a long time, creating the impression that there are no new sources waiting to be found. Improved methods of archaeological excavations, however, have produced data significant to the international trade connections. This data was hidden in small leaden seals that were attached to the textile fabrics indicating their quality and origin. In this paper, I examine the cloth seals originating from Bavaria that have been found so far in the Carpathian Basin and compare the information provided by them with that already known from the available written sources. This comparison leads to several important conclusions. Perhaps most importantly, the dating range of the known cloth seals can be convincingly limited within the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries for all the nineteen known textile production centers. Also, the cloth marked by these seals indicates that some serious changes arose in textile consumption at the end of the Middle Ages. In this study, I identify some new places of origin not mentioned in the written sources and trace their distribution in the medieval Kingdom of Hungary.
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Mária Pakucs-Willcocks

Between “Faithful Subjects” and “Pernicious Nation”: Greek Merchants in the Principality of Transylvania in the Seventeenth Century

Abstract

Abstract

Towns in Transylvania were among the first in which Balkan Greeks settled in their advance into Central Europe. In this essay, I investigate the evolution of the juridical status of the Greeks within the Transylvanian principality during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in order to understand how they were integrated into the institutional and juridical framework of Transylvania. A reinterpretation of available privilege charters granted to the Greeks in Transylvania sheds light on the evolution of their official status during the period in question and on the nature of the “companies” the Greeks founded in certain towns of the principality in the seventeenth century. A close reading of the sources reveals tensions between tax-paying Greeks, whom the seventeenth century Transylvanian princes referred to as their “subjects of the Greek nation,” and the non-resident Greek merchants. Furthermore, strong inconsistencies existed between central and local policies towards the Greeks. I analyze these discrepancies between the princely privileges accorded to the Greeks and the status of the Greek merchants in Nagyszeben (Hermannstadt, today Sibiu, Romania) in particular. The city fathers of this town adhered strongly to their privilege of staple right and insisted on imposing it on the Greek merchants, but the princely grants in favor of the Greeks nullified de facto the provisions of the staple right. While they had obtained concessions that allowed them to settle into Transylvania, Greeks nevertheless negotiated their juridical status with the local authorities of Nagyszeben as well.
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Andrea Fara

Production of and Trade in Food Between the Kingdom of Hungary and Europe in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Era (Thirteenth to Sixteenth Centuries): The Roles of Markets in Crises and Famines

Abstract

Abstract

Over the late Middle Ages and the early Modern Period, Western Europe was stricken by cyclical crises of subsistence or famines, related to several economic and social factors, such as the trend of production and the increasing price of wheat, the inadequate functioning of the market, the inappropriate intervention policies at the time of particular difficulties, and so on. In the Kingdom of Hungary crises and famines were caused by the same forces. But, surprisingly, cyclical large crises of subsistence and vast course famines had been nearly unknown in the kingdom between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. In this context, it is argued that the models of Ernest Labrousse and Amartya Sen may explain the emergence and development of crisis and famine not only and simply by the occurrence of exogenous forces such as a fall in crops, environmental shocks, war events and so on, but also and above all through a deeper analysis of the market, its functioning and its degree of integration with other markets. The paper thus highlights the particular Hungarian alimentary regime as characterized by a non-contradiction, but rather a thorough-penetration, relationship between agricultural and sylvan-pastoral activities. This not-contradiction was reflected by an alimentary equilibrium that characterized the kingdom throughout the period. In comparison with other parts of Europe, in Hungary alimentary alternatives such as grain, meat and fish remained accessible to most of the population, so the inhabitants’ normal diet remained diversified and not entirely based on cereals. The specific production and exchange structures of the kingdom permitted the maintenance of this alimentary equilibrium that prevented the rise of vast alimentary crises, unless a shock such as war, climatic difficulties and so on occurred. Another reason for the absence of vast course famines was the kingdom’s place in the exchange structures of Europe. The paper argues that, while wars—first of all against the Ottoman Empire—caused great damages and problems in food supplying, the complex economic interaction between crisis, famine and war that characterized the Hungary between over late Middle Ages and the early Modern Period is evidence of the kingdom’s increasing and notable maturation as a market in the European context.
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Featured reviews

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The Habsburg Empire: A New History. By Pieter M. Judson. Reviewed by Judit Pál

Thinking through Transition: Liberal Democracy, Authoritarian Pasts, and Intellectual History in East Central Europe After 1989. Edited by Michal Kopeček and Piotr Wciślik. Reviewed by Augusta Dimou


Book reviews

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Money and Finance in Central Europe during the Later Middle Ages. Edited by Roman Zaoral. Reviewed by István Kádas

Medieval Visegrád: Archaeology, Art History and History of a Medieval Royal Centre. Volume 1. The Medieval Royal Palace at Visegrád. Edited by Gergely Buzás and József Laszlovszky.
Volume 2. The Medieval Royal Town at Visegrád: Royal Centre, Urban Settlement, Churches. Edited by Gergely Buzás, József Laszlovszky, and Orsolya Mészáros. Reviewed by László Szabolcs Gulyás

Medieval East Central Europe in a Comparative Perspective: From Frontier Zones to Lands in Focus. Edited by Gerhard Jaritz and Katalin Szende. Reviewed by Eduard Mühle

Hogyan lett Buda a középkori Magyarország fővárosa? A budai királyi székhely története a 12. század végétől a 14. század közepéig [How did Buda become the capital of medieval Hungary? The history of the royal seat of Buda from the end of the twelfth century to the middle of the fourteenth]. By Enikő Spekner. Reviewed by Péter Galambosi

Az esztergomi székeskáptalan a 15. században. I. rész. A kanonoki testület és az egyetemjárás [The Cathedral Chapter of Esztergom in the fifteenth century. Volume 1. Canonical body and university studies]. By Norbert C. Tóth. Reviewed by Tamás Fedeles

Hybrid Renaissance: Culture, Language, Architecture. By Peter Burke. Reviewed by Levente Seláf
Versailles: Une histoire naturelle. By Grégory Quenet. Reviewed by Catherine Szanto

Pázmány, a jezsuita érsek: Kinevezésének története, 1615–1616. Mikropolitikai tanulmány [Pázmány, the Jesuit prelate: His appointment as Primate of Hungary, 1615–1616. A micro-political study]. By Péter Tusor. Reviewed by Tibor Martí

Habsburg post mortem: Betrachtungen zum Weiterleben der Habsburgermonarchie. By Carlo Moos. Reviewed by Adam Kożuchowski

Zensus und Ethnizität: Zur Herstellung von Wissen über soziale Wirklichkeiten im Habsburgerreich zwischen 1848 und 1910. By Wolfgang Göderle. Reviewed by Borbála Zsuzsanna Török

Gewalt und Koexistenz: Muslime und Christen im spätosmanischen Kosovo (1870–1913). By Eva Anne Frantz. Reviewed by Isa Blumi

Partners of the Empire: The Crisis of the Ottoman Order in the Age of Revolutions. By Ali Yaycioglu. Reviewed by Adam Mestyan

The Making of the Greek Genocide: Contested Memories of the Ottoman Greek Catastrophe. By Erik Sjöberg. Reviewed by Uğur Ümit Üngör

Keletre, magyar! A magyar turanizmus története [To the East, Hungarian! A history of Turanism in Hungary]. By Balázs Ablonczy. Reviewed by Ferenc Laczó

The First World War and German National Identity: The Dual Alliance at War. By Jan Vermeiren. Reviewed by Tamás Révész

Edvard Beneš: Un drame entre Hitler et Staline. By Antoinе Marès. Reviewed by Aliaksandr Piahanau

Unified Military Industries of the Soviet Bloc: Hungary and the Division of Labor in Military Production. By Pál Germuska. Reviewed by Laurien Crump

The Warsaw Pact Reconsidered: International Relations in Eastern Europe, 1955–69. By Laurien Crump. Reviewed by Bogdan C. Iacob

Volume 5 Issue 4

Historical Traumas in Post-War Hungary:
Legacies and Representations of Genocide and Dictatorship

Balázs Apor Special Editor of the Thematic Issue

Contents

Articles

Zsolt Győri     

Discursive (De)Constructions of the Depoliticized Private Sphere in The Resolution and Balaton Retro

Abstract

Abstract

In this article I examine Gyula Gazdag and Judit Ember’s documentary The Resolution [A határozat, 1972] and Gábor Zsigmond Papp’s Balaton Retro [Balaton retró, 2007] as examples of the discursive production of paradoxes permeating the consolidated Kádár regime. I present the first film, portraying the character assassination of József Ferenczi (the executive manager of the Felcsút cooperative farm in the early 1970s) as a case study of state socialist technologies of power and strategies of constructing the narrative of the immoral and profiteering leader type, the corrupted servant of the community. This fabricated narrative is actually contested by members of the cooperative farm for whom Ferenczi is a symbol of the reform spirit and the promise of prosperity. I argue that the critical power of the film resides both in its meticulous dissection of the discursive and administrative methods used to create enemy images and its reluctance to present a local example of vilification as a general feature of the state socialist episteme. The Resolution presents the consolidated Kádár regime as an establishment torn between rigid ideological foundations and society’s desire for a depoliticised market economy, suffering from the political pressure to remain true to the spirit of communism and the social pressure to allow a greater degree of economic liberalism.
In Balaton Retro the popular tourist destination, Lake Balaton, is constructed as a spatial metaphor of both the crisis of the authoritarian system and of Goulash Communism (the name given to the system in Hungary, which constituted a quiet deviation from orthodox doctrines of Marxism-Leninism). The popular notion of the lake as the Hungarian Riviera came into being at the intersection of eastern and western understandings of welfare: on the one hand, the welfare state providing workers cheap holiday opportunities through a network of state-run holiday apartments and camps for children, and on the other, individual welfare, the possessors of which (usually citizens of Western Europe) sought leisure in modern luxury hotels. The emergence of private houses available for well-salaried Hungarian customers was another sign of the many dualities and hybrid meanings uncovered by Papp’s film as symptoms of the general state of the nation during the Kádár era. My analysis of the agency of the voiceover narration will reveal that Balaton Retro is not a manifestation of Ostalgie, but a critical meta-commentary on nostalgic memory. To conclude, I will describe retro as the commodification of a material past and nostalgia as a somewhat sinister legacy of state socialist identity politics.
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Tamás Bezsenyi and András Lénárt

The Legacy of World War II and Belated Justice in the Hungarian Films of the Early Kádár Era

Abstract

Abstract

In this article, we analyze the role of Hungarian films made in the 1960s in representing the traumatic legacy of World War II. With the solidification of the official narrative of the Holocaust in the mid-1960s, the Hungarian film industry also started to reflect on the tragedy of the Jews at the same time (which was not a terribly conspicuous part of the official narrative). The article focuses on six films as illustrations of the extent to which it was possible to reflect on the traumatic past in the early Kádár era, with particular emphasis on the legacy of the Holocaust. The films selected revolve around the question of individual responsibility, but they also depict psychological conflicts and portray the character’s attempts to prompt collective remembering. We argue that despite the communists’ claims of moral superiority, peace and reconciliation remains unattainable for the characters in the films because of the inability of the new social milieu to facilitate the process of coming to terms with past traumas.
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Péter Fodor

Erasing, Rewriting, and Propaganda in the Hungarian Sports Films of the 1950s

Abstract

Abstract

In the years following World War II, the radical structural transformation of Hungarian society and the establishment of the communist dictatorship affected the functioning of sports as a social subsystem. At the time, the Hungarian public still remembered the sporting successes of the Horthy era (the Berlin Olympics, the 1938 FIFA World Cup) from the previous decade. Thus, the Sovietization of sports as a social subsystem had two intertwining goals in Hungary: in addition to creating a new institutional framework for sports, the regime also had to ensure good results, which were regarded as a matter of prestige. Like the daily press, the schematic film productions of the era were also characterized by the ideological utilization of sports. A typical example of the schematic style was Civil a pályán [Try and Win, 1951] by Márton Keleti, which used classical comedy elements to bring together the world of the factory and the world of the soccer field. Keleti’s film was intended to popularize a centralized mass sports movement of Soviet origins called “Ready to work and fight” and to communicate the party’s message to professional sportsmen who were considering emigration. The two versions of Csodacsatár [The Football Star, 1956 and 1957], also by Keleti, reveal a lot about the changes that the role of sports in state propaganda and political image construction underwent after the loss to West Germany in the 1954 FIFA World Cup Final and then after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. My paper seeks to interpret these films within the context of the era’s political and sports history.
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Anna Menyhért

Digital Trauma Processing in Social Media Groups: Transgenerational Holocaust Trauma on Facebook

Abstract

Abstract

In recent years, more and more social media (Facebook) groups have been created dealing with memories of the Holocaust in Hungary. In this article, I analyze and compare two groups, “The Holocaust and My Family” and “The Descendants of the Victims and Survivors of the Holocaust” in the framework of my research project on the concept of digital trauma processing, entitled “Trauma Studies in the Digital Age: The Impact of Social Media on Trauma Processing in Life Narratives and Trauma Literature: the Case of Hungary.” I show how the concept of trauma and trauma processing itself are changing in the digital age as a consequence of the element of sharing (in posts and comments in digital media) gains more importance and thus counteracts the element of silence, which was considered the most important element of trauma on several levels. How does digital sharing of memories of traumas help unblock previously blocked avenues to the past, and how does it contribute to the processing of collective historical traumas and consequently to the mobilization of memories, modernization, and the transformation of identities? I examine how the given characteristics of the different types of Facebook groups, public or closed, influence the ways in which people communicate about a collective historical trauma. I touch upon the issue of research ethics in connection with the handling of sensitive data in social media research. I examine the book The Holocaust and My Family, a collection of posts from the group, and analyze as a case study a post and the related comments, in which a descendant of a perpetrator comes out in the group.
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Zsófia Réti

Past Traumas and Future Generations: Cultural Memory Transmission in Hungarian Sites of Memory

Abstract

Abstract

Now that we have reached the mid-2010s, a new generation of Hungarian citizens has grown up; the first Hungarian adults to have absolutely no memory of the state socialist period. It is not only a matter of “reconciliation,” “coming to terms with the past,” or “confessing the past” that are at stake here, but also making the past relevant to people who were born too late to experience it. Due to their lack of information, this generation is extremely susceptible to the various, often contradictory interpretations of the past, and because of their age, they bear the specific characteristics of the so-called Gen Z, the digital natives. How is the communist legacy represented to them? What are the primary media of historical knowledge transmission about the Kádár era? What are its main claims, what kinds of narratives are being presented, and how do young people react to these narratives? How does narrating the communist past affect the national identity of the youth? These are the primary questions I seek to answer in this essay. In addition to all the hardships and horrors of the twentieth century (World War I and II, 1956), there is one more trauma that post-socialist Hungarian society needs to deal with: the cultural rupture of 1989/90, which burned all the bridges between past and future, rendering all at once the language of parents unintelligible to their children and changing the ways in which the traumas of the past were contextualized in Hungarian cultural memory. Based on this fundamental assumption, in this essay I compare the practices adopted by the two most prominent Hungarian communism-related memory projects: the House of Terror and Memento Park. I combine two methods—discourse analysis of the written materials found in the two museums and semi-structured interviews with teenagers—in order to provide a balanced, interdisciplinary approach to the topic.
The two museum spaces in question present very different segments of Hungarian cultural memory. More precisely, they reflect on different pasts. The interplay and interference of memories related to the early and the late periods of the Kádár era, which are on display in the two museums, along with the reaction of young people to these memories provide fertile grounds for an examination of collective memory practices related to both the “system change” and the preceding period. I conclude by considering the possible ways, good practices, and existing solutions to the transmission of the traumatic experiences of the recent and not so recent past to the next generation and by offering a framework in which traumatic and nostalgic approaches to the past do not contradict, but rather complement each other.
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Lóránt Bódi

The Documents of a Fresh Start in Life: Marriage Advertisements Published in the Israelite Newspaper Új Élet (New Life) Between 1945–1952

Abstract

Abstract

Almost two-thirds of the Hungarian Jewry was killed in the Holocaust. The genocide seriously distorted the sex ratio and the generational composition of the surviving Jewish community. Most married individuals lost their spouses, and  the extensive networks of relatives were also eliminated. The growing nu mber of weddings after the war was the first sign of the Jewish community’s recovery from wartime traumas. This study examines how the Hungarian Jewry rose above the traumas and devastations of the war. It addresses this problem from the perspective of the matrimonial ads published in the Israelite newspaper Új Élet between 1946 and 1952. Marriage ads could be considered collective social practices that shed light on the “publicalization” of private life. Despite their rigid narrative structure, these documents also reveal the voices of the surviving community after the war. The article will address the most common themes in marriage ads, including exile, the foundation of Israel, wartime trauma, and the loss of a spouse.
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Featured review

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The Routledge History of East Central Europe since 1700.
Edited by Irina Livezeanu and Árpád von Klimó. Reviewed by Ferenc Laczó    427

Book reviews

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Central Europe in the High Middle Ages: Bohemia, Hungary and Poland, c. 900–c. 1300. By Nora Berend, Przemysław Urbańczyk, and Przemysław Wiszewski.
Reviewed by Sébastien Rossignol     434

Deserting Villages – Emerging Market Towns: Settlement Dynamics and Land Management in the Great Hungarian Plain: 1300–1700. By Edit Sárosi.
Reviewed by András Vadas    437

Das Reich als Netzwerk der Fürsten: Politische Strukturen unter dem Doppelkönigtum Friedrichs II. und Heinrichs (VII.) 1225–1235.
By Robert Gramsch. Reviewed by Veronika Rudolf    440

Ritual and Symbolic Communication in Medieval Hungary under the Árpád Dynasty. By Dušan Zupka. Reviewed by Judit Gál    444

Székesfehérvár története az Árpád-korban [The history of Székesfehérvár in the Árpádian period]. By Attila Zsoldos, Gábor Thoroczkay, and Gergely Kiss.
Reviewed by Renáta Skorka    447

Das Wiener Stadtzeichnerbuch 1678–1685: Ein Bettlerverzeichnis aus einer frühneuzeitlichen Stadt. By Sarah Pichlkastner.
Reviewed by István H. Németh    451

A test a társadalomban: A Hajnal István Kör Társadalomtörténeti Egyesület 2013. évi sümegi konferenciájának kötete [The body in society: Proceedings of the conference of the Hajnal István Circle – Hungarian Social History Association, Sümeg, 2013]. Edited by Emese Gyimesi, András Lénárt, and Erzsébet Takács.
Reviewed by Janka Kovács    456

Metternich: Stratege und Visionär. Eine Biografie. By Wolfram Siemann.
Reviewed by Franz L. Fillafer    460

Experten und Beamte: Die Professionalisierung der Lehrer höherer Schulen
in der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts. Ungarn und Preußen im Vergleich.
By Márkus Keller. Reviewed by Brigitte Mazohl     464

Habsburg neu denken: Vielfalt und Ambivalenz in Zentraleuropa. 30 kulturwissenschaftliche Stichworte. Edited by Johannes Feichtinger
and Heidemarie Uhl. Reviewed by William D. Godsey    467

Eugenics and Nation in Early 20th Century Hungary. By Marius Turda.
Reviewed by Attila Kund    470

Etnicitás, identitás, politika: Magyar kisebbségek nacionalizmus és regionalizmus között Romániában és Csehszlovákiában 1918–1944 [Ethnicity, identity, politics: Hungarian minorities between nationalism and regionalism in Romania and Czechoslovakia, 1918–1944]. By Gábor Egry.
Reviewed by Máté Rigó    473

Két évtized: A kolozsvári zsidóság a két világháború között [Two decades:
The Jewry of Kolozsvár between the two world wars]. By Attila Gidó.
Reviewed by Zoltán Tibori Szabó    479

Căpitan Codreanu: Aufstieg und Fall des rumänischen Faschistenführers.
By Oliver Jens Schmitt. Reviewed by Radu Harald Dinu    483

Demokrácia negyvenötben [Democracy in 1945]. By Éva Standeisky.
Reviewed by Gábor Egry    486

A magyar irodalomtudomány szovjetizálása: A szocialista realista kritika és intézményei, 1945–1953 [The Sovietization of Hungarian literary studies: Socialist realist criticism and its institutions, 1945–1953]. By Tamás Scheibner.
Reviewed by Zsolt K. Horváth    489

The Emergence of Historical Forensic Expertise: Clio Takes the Stand.
By Vladimir Petrovic. Reviewed by Iva Vukusic     493

Volume 5 Issue 4

Migration and Refugees

Ulf Brunnbauer and Gábor Demeter Special Editors of the Thematic Issue

Contents

Ulf Brunnbauer     

Introduction to the Special Issue: Migration and East Central Europe – a Perennial but Unhappy Relationship    497

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Articles

Sever Cristian Oancea     

Integration Through Confession? Lutheran Migration from Upper Hungary to Sibiu After 1671 – Isaak Zabanius    502

Abstract

Abstract

This study addresses the Hungarian migration in the Early Modern Era from Upper Hungary to Transylvania, focusing primarily on the biography of the Slovak Lutheran theologian Isaak Zabanius. Beginning with current historiography debates and covering the spectrum of anthropologic social historical views, it follows the exile story of this migrant, beginning with his departure for Toruń and Danzig (today Gdańsk, Poland) until his final settlement in Sibiu (Hermannstadt). I address two main questions in this article: did Zabanius migrate to Transylvania for confessional reasons, or was he motivated by economic considerations? How did he integrate into Transylvanian Saxon society? The contemporary sources indicate that he came to Transylvania because of his social network and only after having been given a position at the gymnasium of Sibiu. His integration was a success: he and his offspring became part of the local elite by ascending into the highest church and occupying political positions. Social integration in this case also represented assimilation and Germanization.
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Stelu Şerban  

From Forced Migration to New Patterns of Social Life: Bulgarian Refugees in Teleorman County, Romania, in the Nineteenth Century    520

Abstract

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to discern the insertion strategies of the Bulgarian migrant waves to Wallachia, focusing on Teleorman County as a case study. The largest waves of Bulgarian migrants to Wallachia occurred in the first half of nineteenth century as a consequence of the two Ottoman–Russian wars. Teleorman County is a special case, as with its four urban centers, it had more such settlements than any other county in Wallachia. The Bulgarian migrants to Teleorman settled mainly in these centers. One must draw a distinction between the patterns of the upper social strata (which included city dwellers, merchants, and landowners) and the “common” Bulgarians, who lived in rural areas and worked in the fields and gardens. I focus on the urban strategies of insertion in the first half of the nineteenth century and on the ways in which these strategies persisted in the latter half of the century, with the foundation of the city of Alexandria as a privileged site. I offer sketches of the lives of important Bulgarophone families from Teleorman and contextualize their experiences in the framework of urban and economic development.
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Ana-Teodora Kurkina     

Mobile Elites: Bulgarian Emigrants in the Middle of the Nineteenth Century and the Accommodation of Difference in the Balkans    543

Abstract

Abstract

This article addresses the issue of accommodating difference through an analysis of a specific group of mobile public actors who can be defined as “mobile elites.” Using the Bulgarian emigrants in the middle of the nineteenth century as a typical case of an exiled elite, I link this case to other European Romantic intellectuals and sketch a grand-scale scheme of regional traffic in ideas. I suggest that emigration as such instigates the consolidation of nationalist elites. Thus, elites can be viewed as large, separate, and often mobile groups, which negotiate their respective interests and search for compromises. I contend that mobile public actors influence the societies in which they dwell by creating sets of networks which stretch over the whole region. The notion of “mobile elites” can therefore be a helpful tool in defining emigrant intellectuals. Furthermore, the activities of these intellectuals shed light on the ways in which migrant groups seek accommodation, pursue their political aims, and attempt to find compromises which can eventually yield beneficial outcomes.
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James P. Niessen     

God Brought the Hungarians: Emigration and Refugee Relief in the Light of Cold War Religion    566

Abstract

Abstract

The ample literature on the Hungarian refugee crisis of 1956/57 has focused on its diplomatic and political aspects, mentioning the role of religions and faith-based organizations only in passing. This study seeks to address this lacuna by focusing on religion as an element of the Cold War, a motive for emigration, and an organizing framework for refugee relief. The chronology begins with the end of World War II. Austria, the country of first asylum, and the United States, the dominant financier and resettlement country, are the primary geographic focus. Reflecting the preponderance of Catholics in the Hungarian migrants’ population, special attention is given to Catholic Relief Services, though Jewish aid organizations and the World Council of Churches are not neglected.
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Emre Saral     

A Foreign Labor Force in Early Republican Turkey: The Case of Hungarian Migrant Workers    597

Abstract

Abstract

Beginning in the 1920s, Hungarian workers began to migrate to foreign countries for economic and political reasons. Among them, a group of Hungarians including workers, engineers, and trained experts arrived in Turkey. The laborers from Hungary entered the Turkish market before the Residence Convention signed in 1926, which mutually allowed the citizens of both signatories to reside and work in the two countries. As neither government initially implemented the necessary measures, there had been an uncontrolled flow of workers to Turkey. Enduring poor living conditions and facing several problems, including low wages and lack of social insurance, they were employed in jobs such as house building and railroad construction, and they made a serious contribution to the development of the country in the 1920s and 1930s. This essay presents the situation of the Hungarian migrant workers in Turkey in the interwar period on the basis of official documents held in Hungarian, Turkish, and British archives. I examine the socio-economic situation of Hungarians in Anatolia, the obstacles they faced, the stance of and measures adopted by the Turkish government, and the attempts that were made by the Hungarian diplomatic mission on behalf of the Hungarian citizens living in Turkey.
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Petra Hamerli     

Croatian Political Refugees Living in Emigration in the Interwar Period: The Case of the Croatian Political Refugees in Hungary    624

Abstract

Abstract

After the disintegraton of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the successor states also had to face the old problem of the “nationality question”. The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (which in 1929 became the first incarnation of Yugoslavia) was the most multi-ethnic or multinational state in the region, and this led to conflicts, in particular between Serbs and Croats. When Alexander I introduced the dictatorship (January 6, 1929), many Croats decided to leave Yugoslavia. Most of them emigrated to Latin America, but Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, and Italy, as neighboring states, were also popular directions. Many of the refugees left Yugoslavia for political reasons. Most of them emigrated to states that were interested in or actively sought the disintegration or at least weakening of Yugoslavia, such as Hungary and Italy, but many of them chose Austria, Belgium, and Germany. In this essay I focus primarily on the Croatian political refugees living in Hungary. The most important sources on these refugees are found in the Sate Archives of Italy (Archivio Centrale di Stato di Roma, ACS) in the material entitled “Carte Conti,” which includes the list of Croats for whom warrants had been issued and who were followed continuously by the Zagreb police and the Yugoslav authorities for political reasons. I also use primary sources to assess the role that the Croatian camp Jankapuszta, and the house in Nagykanizsa bought by the Ustaše leader Gustav Perčec played in the lives of migrants and in diplomatic calamities. In addition to the sources in the Sate Archives, I also draw on the documents of the Archives of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Archivio Storico Diplomatico del Ministero degli Affari Esteri, ASMAE) and the National Archives of Hungary (Magyar Nemzeti Levéltár Országos Levéltára, MNL OL).
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Kristina E. Poznan     

Return Migration to Austria-Hungary from the United States in Homeland Economic and Ethnic Politics and International Diplomacy    647

Abstract

Abstract

While Austro-Hungarian officials initially opposed emigration and considered it disloyal to leave the homeland, the massive growth of transatlantic labor migration, its economic benefits, and its potentially temporary duration prompted a change in governmental attitudes and policy at the turn of the twentieth century. Even as it continued to discourage and police the exit of emigrants, the Hungarian government, in particular, also became an active promoter of return migration. Using files from the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office, the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, and the joint Austro-Hungarian Foreign Ministry, this article examines the Hungarian government’s attempts to encourage return migration to further its economic and nationalist goals. These initiatives emphasized the homecoming of desirable “patriotic” subjects, of Hungarian-speakers, and of farmers and skilled industrial workers to address the state’s perceived labor needs. Officials debated the risks of welcoming back migrants with undesirable social and political orientations and speakers of minority languages, as well as the risks of potential conflicts with the United States government.
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Featured review

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Die Habsburgermonarchie 1848–1918. Band XI. Die Habsburgermonarchie und der Erste Weltkrieg. 1. Teilband. Der Kampf um die Neuordnung Mitteleuropas. Teil 1. Vom Balkanenkonflikt zum Weltkrieg. Teil 2. Vom Vielvölkerstaat Österreich-Ungarn zum neuen Europa der Nationalstaaten. Edited by Helmut Rumpler. Reviewed by Rudolf Kučera      668

Book reviews

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Medieval Buda in Context. Edited by Balázs Nagy, Martyn Rady, Katalin Szende, and András Vadas. Reviewed by Veronika Novák    675

Reneszánsz utazás: Anna királyné 1502-es fogadtatásának ünnepségei Észak-Itáliában és Magyarországon [Renaissance journey: The festivities held to welcome Queen Anne to Northern Italy and Hungary in 1502]. By Attila Györkös. Reviewed by Laura Fábián    680

The Visual World of the Hungarian Angevin Legendary. By Béla Zsolt Szakács. Reviewed by Iván Gerát    683

A zombori ördögűző: Egy 18. századi ferences mentalitása [The exorcist of Zombor: The mentality of an eighteenth-century Franciscan monk]. By Dániel Bárth. Reviewed by Márton Simonkay    686

A multietnikus nemzetállam: Kísérletek, kudarcok és kompromisszumok Csehszlovákia nemzetiségi politikájában 1918–1992 [The multiethnic nation state: Attempts, failures, and compromises in Czechoslovakia’s nationality policy from 1918 to 1992]. By László Szarka. Reviewed by Péter Bencsik    691

A Horthy-kultusz 1919–1944 [The Horthy cult 1919–1944]. By Dávid Turbucz. Reviewed by  Róbert Kerepeszki    695

Szabadkőművesből református püspök: Ravasz László élete [From freemason to reformed church bishop: The life of László Ravasz]. By Pál Hatos. Reviewed by Ákos Bartha    699

Lélektan és politika: Pszichotudományok a magyarországi államszocializmusban 1945–1970 [Psychology and politics: The psycho-sciences under state Socialism in Hungary]. By Melinda Kovai. Reviewed by Gergely Kunt    704

Az első aranykor: A magyar foci 1945-ig [The first Golden Age: Hungarian football up to 1945]. By Péter Szegedi. Reviewed by Dániel Bolgár    709

Jüdische Museen in Ostmitteleuropa. Kontinuitäten – Brüche – Neuanfänge: Prag, Budapest, Bratislava (1993–2012). By Katalin Deme. Reviewed by Peter Hallama    714

Lázadó falvak: Kollektivizálás elleni tüntetések a vidéki Magyarországon, 1951–1961. [Villages in uprising: Demonstrations against collectivization in the Hungarian countryside, 1951–61]. By Gyöngyi Farkas. Reviewed by Gábor Csikós    718

 

Volume 5 Issue 4

Boundaries of Contemporary History

Zsombor Bódy, András Keszei
Special Editors of the Thematic Issue

Contents

Zsombor Bódy and András Keszei   
Introduction    723

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Articles

Zoltán Hidas     
Present Times Concerning Things Past: On Recent Conceptions of Memory    725

Abstract

Abstract

After sketching modern experiences and visions of historicity, the present study outlines two fundamental modes of our relationship to present time and memory. In an ideal typical way, two theoretical conceptions are contrasted for this purpose. A radical system theory of time presumes that there has been a rupture in the human temperament, which has opened our understanding of time functionally by focusing in an accelerating manner on the future. The cultural memory paradigm asserts the existence of the individual as a genuine part of remembering communities, who draws orientations from the past. In the terms of the Hegelian philosophy of history, we have here the pragmatic representation of the past for the sake of efficiency on the one hand and the search for an internal order of the most heterogeneous events for the sake of discovering continuity in human activity on the other.
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Zsombor Bódy    
A Gaze Focused on Itself: On the Perception of Time in the Writing of the History of the Present     750

Abstract

Abstract

Following in the wake of Reinhart Koselleck’s analyses of historical time, the study examines the contemporary history’s perception of time. Comparing it with the perception of time in earlier classical periods of historiography and looking at problems of historical memory, the analysis comes to the conclusion that, in the recent development of historiography and particularly in the writing of the history of the present, a new presentist perception of time has become dominant which differs radically from the structure of the perception of time based on a horizon determined by experience and expectation, on which history as an academic discipline was established. Therefore, the writing of the history of the present is no longer a continuation of the roughly 200-year-old story of history as an academic discipline, but a new practice, whose internal characteristics and position among other disciplines which study the society of the present from different perspectives (such as sociology, political science, etc.) cannot yet be regarded as fully clarified.
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László Vörös    
Social Demand and the Social Purpose of History: What is Missing from Alun Munslow’s Classification of Historiography?     776

Abstract

Abstract

Alun Munslow proposed a threefold classification of historians’ approaches to the writing of history. According to Munslow, every historian is either a reconstructionist, constructionist, or deconstructionist, depending on his/her fundamental epistemological/ontological beliefs concerning the possibilities of studying and representing the “past” in the form of narrative. I suggest that the category of constructionism as defined by Munslow is based on a priori presumptions about historians’ alleged beliefs in the ontic nature of the “before now” and its knowability. The actual practice of scholarly history writing allows for a more nuanced typology. I argue for a looser association of formal and methodological criteria with the basic ontological/epistemological positions of historians. I also argue that Munslow’s category of constructionism should be split into two ideal-typical categories: constructionism-proper and constructionism-improper. His deep insight into the formal aspects of history representation notwithstanding, Munslow’s theory fails to explain why there are such diverse and completely contradictory epistemologies within a single discipline. Neither does it explain the seemingly paradoxical continued domination of (in Munslow’s view) two fallacious epistemologies: the reconstructionist and the constructionist. Why has reconstructionism, the most obsolete of the three epistemological positions, not vanished after many decades of intense criticism? I suggest that we should look for answers in the extra-disciplinary domain of the social functions of history. I argue that the social purpose of the knowledge produced by historians and the interaction between historians and the public have a decisive formative influence on both the theory and the practice of the discipline. Historians who fit into the epistemological categories of reconstructionism and constructionism-improper are able to provide accounts that legitimize social institutions, political regimes, economical systems, social orders, etc. Even more importantly, the histories constructed by this kind of historian often serve to anchor narratives (of self-identification) connected to referential social groups and categories. I suggest that reconstructionist and constructionist-improper historians can serve these societal functions because their accounts are based on realist-empiricist epistemologies congruent with naïve perceptions of the “past.” Furthermore, the constructionist-proper and deconstructionist historians not only do not offer legitimizing or identification narratives, their narratives of history are based on counterintuitive epistemology informed by constructivist social scientific theory. Their analyses often deconstruct the very notions upon which legitimizing and anchoring discourses are based. I suggest that the social functions of historical knowledge are thus an aspect that must be incorporated into epistemological studies of history and historiography.
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András Keszei    
Memory and the Contemporary Relevance of the Past    804

Abstract

Abstract

As products that can be sold and bought, elements of the recent and more distant past become more and more important from the point of view of consumption, a process which adheres to the logic of commercial culture. At the same time, academic history is becoming less relevant as a source of authentic images of the past. As a result of the arbitrary selection of sources for different purposes and needs, the past has moved into our neighborhood (i.e. it has become an omnipresent part of the jumbled image repertoire of our everyday lives), and as a consequence, we find ourselves surrounded by a rather eclectic type of history. The past has become a commodity, and it has acquired a new valence as a source of collective and personal identity. Societies relate to their own pasts through the mechanisms of memory. Collective memory, as a source of social and personal identity, is partly a kind of history appropriated by the different groups of contemporary society. The manner in which this appropriation is effected highlights the potential role of academic history as a critical observer of relevant social processes in the past (and present).
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Oliver Kühschelm    
Contemporary History as Pre-history of the Present: Analysing the Austrian Media Discourse about Investment Opportunities in the East    825

Abstract

Abstract

In its first part the essay reflects about the concept and practice of contemporary history. Taking the transformation of Europe since 1989 as a starting point it finally advocates a genealogical reconstruction of the past as pre-history of the present. In its second, empirical part the essay discusses examples from print media that belong to a discourse about Austrian companies ‘going East’. The analysis focuses on images that without providing numbers nor technical arguments suggested investments in the former socialist countries as a huge opportunity. It discerns two narratives built on these images: the return of the Habsburg Monarchy and Western (Austrian) companies as conquerors of the East. The essay thus contributes to a critical media history of the transformation of Central Europe.
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Ádám Takács    
The Heads and the Walls. From Professional Commitment to Oppositional Attitude in Hungarian Sociology in the 1960–1970s: The Cases of András Hegedüs, István Kemény, and Iván Szelényi    856

Abstract

Abstract

In most of the state socialist countries in Eastern Europe, sociology remained a perpetual source of ideological quarrels from the beginning of the 1960s to the mid-1980s. With this context in mind, this paper offers an analysis of some of the decisive aspects of the development of Hungarian sociology from the early 1960s to the mid-1970s. In particular, the discussion focuses on three central figures, András Hegedüs (1922–99), István Kemény (1925–2008), and Iván Szelényi (1939), and their intellectual developments from committed and professional sociological work to the adoption of a deeply critical attitude towards socialist social development. An examination of the similarities in their intellectual development, especially as far as their political confrontation with the regime is concerned, offers a context for a discussion of some of the topical issues of the professional, institutional, and ideological aspects of academic work in state socialist Hungary and the ways in which genuine scholarly achievements could give rise to oppositional attitudes and social dissidence.
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Featured review

Genocide in the Carpathians: War, Social Breakdown, and Mass Violence, 1914–1945. By Raz Segal. Reviewed by Linda Margittai    883

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Book reviews    

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Az első 300 év Magyarországon és Európában: A Domonkos-rend a középkorban [The first 300 years in Hungary and Europe: The Dominican Order in the Middle Ages]. Edited by József Csurgai Horváth. Reviewed by András Ribi    891
Hatalom, adó, jog: Gazdaságtörténeti tanulmányok a magyar középkorról [Power, tax, law: Studies on the economic history of medieval Hungary].
Edited by István Kádas and Boglárka Weisz. Reviewed by Bence Péterfi    895
The Noble Elite in the County of Körös (Križevci) 1400–1526. By Tamás Pálosfalvi. Reviewed by Szabolcs Varga    900
Keresztesekből lázadók: Tanulmányok 1514 Magyarországáról [From crusaders to rebels: Studies on Hungary in 1514]. Edited by Norbert C. Tóth and Tibor Neumann. Reviewed by Tamás Pálosfalvi    904
The Teutonic Order in Prussia and Livonia: The Political and Ecclesiastical Structures 13th–16th C. Edited by Roman Czaja and Andrzej Radzimiński. Reviewed by Benjámin Borbás    909
Alchemy and Rudolf II: Exploring the Secrets of Nature in Central Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Edited by Ivo Purš and Vladimír Karpenko. Reviewed by Dóra Bobory    912
‘Das Fluidum der Stadt…’ Urbane Lebenswelten in Kassa/Košice/Kaschau zwischen Sprachenvielfalt und Magyarisierung 1867–1918. By Frank Henschel. Reviewed by Elena Mannová    915
A Modern History of the Balkans: Nationalism and Identity in Southeast Europe. By Thanos Veremis. Reviewed by Mark Biondich    919
Staatskunst oder Kulturstaat? Staatliche Kunstpolitik in Österreich 1848–1914. By Andreas Gottsmann. Reviewed by Matthew Rampley    921
Dealing with Dictators: The United States, Hungary, and East Central Europe, 1942–1989. By László Borhi. Reviewed by Igor Lukes    924
A magyar sajtó és újságírás története a kezdetektől a rendszerváltásig [The history of the Hungarian press and journalism from the early years to the political transition]. By Géza Buzinkay. Reviewed by Balázs Sipos    928
Gendered Wars, Gendered Memories: Feminist Conversations on War, Genocide and Political Violence. Edited by Ayşe Gül Altınay and Andrea Pető. Reviewed by Petra Bakos Jarrett    931
Jeanssozialismus: Konsum und Mode im staatssozialistischen Ungarn By Fruzsina Müller. Reviewed by Annina Gagyiova    934

Volume 5 Issue 4

1956 and Resistance in East Central Europe

Péter Apor, Sándor Horváth
Special Editors of the Thematic Issue

Contents

Articles

Árpád von Klimó
1956 and the Collapse of Stalinist Politics of History: Forgetting and Remembering the 1942 Újvidék/Novi Sad Massacre and the 1944/45 Partisan Retaliations in Hungary and Yugoslavia (1950s–1960s)

Abstract

Abstract

Two acts of mass violence that occurred during World War II have strained relations between Hungarians and Serbs for decades: the murder of several thousand civilians in Novi Sad (Újvidék) and the surrounding villages in January 1942, committed by the Hungarian army and gendarmerie, and Tito’s partisan army’s mass killings and incarceration of tens of thousands civilians, most of them Hungarians, at the end of the war. Remembering these atrocities has always been difficult and strongly politicized, but this was particularly the case when the Communist regimes in Hungary and Yugoslavia based the legitimation of their authority on anti-Fascist narratives and interpretations of the war. The conflict between Stalin and Tito, and the anti-Stalinist revolution of 1956 made it even more difficult to propagate the original Stalinist narrative about the war, which stood in ever starker contrast to everyday realities. When Kádár began to revise the political justification of his regime with a narrative that was both anti-Fascist and (moderately) critical of Stalinism in the 1960s, the remembrance of the 1942 massacre changed. In Yugoslavia, the weakening of the central government in the 1960s contributed to a local re-appropriation of the memory of 1942, while the 1944 killings remained a strict taboo until 1989.
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Jan C. Behrends
Rokossowski Coming Home: The Making and Breaking of an (Inter-)national Hero in Stalinist Poland (1949–1956)

Abstract

Abstract

At the beginning was the Great Terror of 1937/38. It meant both the arrest of a Soviet officer of Polish origin, Konstantin Rokossowski, and the destruction of interwar Polish communism. While Rokossowski was freed before the German invasion and survived to serve as a distinguished commander in World War II, Polish communism did not recover from Stalin’s onslaught. It had to be reinvented and rebuilt during the war, and it underwent nationalization, Stalinization, and de-Stalinization in the period between 1941 and 1956. This essay uses the tenure of Rokossowski as Polish Minister of Defense between 1949 and 1956 to shed light on the tension between nationalist rhetoric and Sovietization and the ways in which Polish society and popular opinion reacted to these processes.
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Gábor Danyi
Phantom Voices from the Past: Memory of the 1956 Revolution and Hungarian Audiences of Radio Free Europe

Abstract

Abstract

Following the short period of consolidation under János Kádár in the immediate aftermath of the 1956 revolution, expressions of the legacy and memory of the uprising were no longer permitted in the public sphere and had to be confined to the private sphere. The activity of émigré actors and institutions, including the broadcasts of Western radio stations, played a crucial role in sustaining the memory and the mentality of the revolution. In 1986, thirty years after the national trauma of 1956, Radio Free Europe broadcasted an array of programs commemorating the revolution, while the official socialist media in Hungary contended again that what had happened in 1956 had been a counterrevolution. This study primarily investigates two questions. Firstly, it casts light on the importance of the RFE’s archival machinery, which recorded on magnetic tape the broadcasts of the Hungarian radio stations during the revolution in 1956. Sharing these audio-documents with audiences 30 years later, RFE could replay the revolution, significantly strengthening the interpretation of the events as a revolution. The idiosyncratic voices of the key figures of the revolution guaranteed the authenticity of the commemoration programs even for members of the younger generation among the audiences. Secondly, this study sheds light on the counter-cultural practices through which listeners tried to reconstruct the “body” of the “specters” of the suppressed cultural heritage and eliminate the asymmetry between the radio’s accessible voice and its non-accessible physical vehicle.
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Róbert Takács
In the Pull of the West: Resistance, Concessions and Showing off from the Stalinist Practice in Hungarian Culture after 1956

Abstract

Abstract

The article explores the representation of Western culture in Hungarian journalism, print media, and public life in the months following the 1956 revolution, when the party lost its strict control over Hungarian society and only gradually was able to reassert its dominance in all spheres of life. Did representations of Western culture really constitute a kind of resistance, or should they perhaps be understood as concessions to prevalent public opinion? Or did they in fact harmonize in some way with the actual intentions of the people who crafted cultural policy? How did the content of newspapers begin to change in November 1956, clashing with the earlier “socialist cultural canon” by presenting formerly censured or anathematized Western cultural products and actors? How was the supply of movies adjusted to public opinion and then slowly readjusted to correspond to former norms? How did theater programs and plans for book publishing reflect the uncertainty of the period, resulting in the publication of works and performance of productions later criticized for bringing values to the stage that were contrary to the spirit of socialism? In this paper, I analyze a provisional period in which earlier norms of journalism, print media, and cultural life were partially suspended and the party made little or no real attempts to reassert Stalinist norms. Moreover, in this period the party did not deny or bring a stop to the de-Stalinization of cultural life, although it did repress open forms of cultural resistance to the Kádár-government.
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Juraj Marušiak
Unspectacular Destalinization: the Case of Slovak Writers after 1956

Abstract

Abstract

On the basis of archival sources, in this essay I examine the debates that took place among Slovak writers in the spring of 1956 and afterwards. I focus on the clashes between the Union of Slovak Writers and the leadership of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (CPCz) that began at the time, and also on the internal discussions among the pro-Communist intellectuals concerning the interpretation of de-Stalinization process. The CPCz leadership essentially brought an end to the “political discussion” which temporarily had been allowed during the “thaw” following the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Research shows that the relatively weak persecutions allowed the gradual development of reformist thinking and the pluralization of the literary life in Slovakia in the second half of the 1950s and, later, in the 1960s. The political clashes between writers and Communist Party took place in both parts of Czechoslovakia in different ways.
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Zsófia Lóránd
Socialist-Era New Yugoslav Feminism between “Mainstreaming” and “Disengagement”: The Possibilities for Resistance, Critical Opposition and Dissent

Abstract

Abstract

Through a focus on early publications by feminist intellectuals in Yugoslavia during the 1970s, this paper aims to demonstrate methods of feminist critique of the theory and practice of women’s emancipation in the context of a state socialist (in this case self-managing socialist) country in East Central Europe. After a brief overview of feminist organizing in Yugoslavia until the late 1980s, this paper looks at conferences and journal publications, which also provides the opportunity to better understand the workings of the Yugoslav public space and publishing processes. The text, written with a conceptual and intellectual historical focus, analyzes the discursive interventions and reformulations of matters related to women’s emancipation. The new Yugoslav feminist approaches rethought and reformulated the “women’s question.” Reading the prevailing currents of feminism in North America and Western Europe, feminists in Yugoslavia searched for ways to reframe this question into a critique that was constructive as well as innovative in its own context.
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Book Reviews

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Slavery in Árpád-era Hungary in a Comparative Context. By Cameron Sutt. Reviewed by János M. Bak

Koldulórendi konfraternitások a középkori Magyarországon (1270 k. – 1530 k.) [Mendicant confraternities in medieval Hungary (ca. 1270 – ca. 1530)]. By Marie Madeleine de Cevins. Reviewed by Beatrix F. Romhányi

A Német Lovagrend Poroszországban: A népesség és a településszerkezet változásai [The Teutonic Order in Prussia: Changes in population and settlement pattern]. By László Pósán. Reviewed by Benjámin Borbás

Choreographies of Shared Sacred Sites: Religion, Politics, and Resolution. Edited by Elazar Barkan and Karen Barkey. Reviewed by Emese Muntán

Brokering Empire: Trans-Imperial Subjects between Venice and Istanbul. By E. Natalie Rothman. Reviewed by Tamás Kiss

Humanitarian Intervention in the Long Nineteenth Century: Setting the Precedent. By Alexis Heraclides and Ada Dialla. Reviewed by Krisztián Csaplár-Degovics

Another Hungary: The Nineteenth-Century Provinces in Eight Lives. By Robert Nemes. Reviewed by Bálint Varga

Globalizing Southeastern Europe: Emigrants, America, and the State since the Late Nineteenth Century. By Ulf Brunnbauer. Reviewed by Heléna Tóth

Zionists in Interwar Czechoslovakia: Minority Nationalism and the Politics of Belonging. By Tatjana Lichtenstein. Reviewed by Rebekah A. Klein-Pejšová

The Invisible Jewish Budapest: Metropolitan Culture at the Fin-de-Siècle. By Mary Gluck. Reviewed by Ilse Josepha Lazaroms

Justifying Genocide: Germany and the Armenians from Bismarck to Hitler. By Stefan Ihrig. Reviewed by Péter Pál Kránitz

Szálasi Ferenc: Politikai életrajz [Ferenc Szálasi: A political biography]. By László Karsai. Reviewed by Zoltán Paksy

The State, Antisemitism, and Collaboration in the Holocaust: The Borderlands of Romania and the Soviet Union. By Diana Dumitru. Reviewed by Vladimir Solonari

Die große Angst: Polen 1944–1947. Leben im Ausnahmezustand. By Marcin Zaremba. Reviewed by Markus Krzoska

The Holocaust in Hungary in Contexts.
New Perspectives and Research Results

Volume 4 Issue 3

Ferenc Laczó
Special Editor of the Thematic Issue

Contents

Introduction by the Special Editor

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Articles

András Szécsényi    

Development and Bifurcation of an Institution. The Voluntary Labor Service and the Compulsory National Defense Labor Service of the Horthy Era

Abstract

Abstract

Previous studies of the Hungarian labor service have been characterized by an exclusive interest in the years between 1939 and 1945. Accordingly, they have tended to focus on its anti-Jewish impetus. However, the emergence of labor service in Hungary goes back to the mid-1930s, when a voluntary system was established. Placing this Hungarian institution into a transnational perspective, I trace the process of its ideological legitimation, its key practices, and its gradual growth and significant transformation over the years. I demonstrate that Hungary actually had two divergent systems of labor services in the war years, and I analyze the ways in which the infamous labor service of the post-1939 years could be seen as a continuation of its less familiar predecessor. I thus make a contribution to the historicization and broader contextualization of a key Hungarian institution of persecution during World War II..
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Gábor Szegedi    

Stand by Your Man. Honor and Race Defilement in Hungary, 1941–44

Abstract

Abstract

The practice of race defilement in Hungary began following the passage of the 1941 Marriage Law, a comprehensive law on marriage that introduced mandatory premarital health checks, marriage loans and the prohibition of marriage between Jews and non-Jews. In contrast with Nazi Germany, in Hungary non-Jewish men were exempted from the provisions of the law, so only Jewish men could be convicted and only if they had a liaison with “honorable” women. The vague non-legal term “honorable” provided the authorities with the opportunity to limit sexual and other contact between “Jews” and “non-Jews” and also to exert control over female bodies through policing and surveillance, as female “honor” was in most cases crucial in order to determine the course of the proceedings. This paper uses the theoretical framework of the history of emotions to reconstruct the types of “honor” that come to light from an analysis of the papers of these court cases and their importance for sexual politics in Horthy-era Hungary..
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Regina Fritz

Inside the Ghetto:  Everyday Life in Hungarian Ghettos

Abstract

Abstract

The first ghetto was established in Hungary on April 16, 1944, about one month after the German invasion of the country. Within eight weeks, the Hungarian gendarmerie and police, together with the German Sondereinsatzkommando, had detained more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews in over 170 ghettos. There were significant differences between the individual ghettos in Hungary with regard to housing, provisions, the ability to make contact with the “outside world,” the extent of violence, etc. The living conditions depended to a great extent on how the local administrations implemented the measures for ghettoization and how the non-Jewish population reacted to the creation of the ghettos. In addition, ghettoization in the annexed territories differed in many perspectives from ghettoization in the core of Hungary. It was not only more brutal, but also much less structured. The paper investigates the formal differences between the individual Hungarian ghettos and describes the widely differing situations experienced in them. On the basis of personal documents and the preserved estates of ghetto administrations, I offer a portrayal of daily life inside the ghettos in the capital and in cities and smaller towns in rural parts of Hungary.
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Attila Gidó

The Hungarian Bureaucracy and the Administrative Costs of the Holocaust in Northern Transylvania

Abstract

Abstract

In the course of May and June 1944, forty-five trains crammed with Jews from Northern Transylvania were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, making the region “Judenfrei” in accordance with the Nazi vision of the “Final Solution.” This article explores how the extermination process and its consequences, including the costs incurred, were approached and handled by the central and local authorities of Northern Transylvania as bureaucratic tasks. As I show, in addition to participating directly in the processes of genocide, local authorities also aimed to assure “the reparation of material and financial damages” caused by ghettoization, while the expropriated assets of the deported and their unresolved financial transactions were subject to further administrative action. Drawing on scattered documents held in various provincial branches of the Romanian National Archives and materials from the Cluj-based People’s Courts from 1946, in this article I discuss the high-level of continuity among Hungarian administrative personnel in 1944 and demonstrate that practically the entire Hungarian state apparatus participated in the implementation of the Final Solution. I argue that the economic costs incurred by “Christian Hungarians” may have been negligible compared to the overall theft of “Jewish property,” but the administrative tasks related to ghettoization and deportation were substantial.
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Anders E. B. Blomqvist

Local Motives for Deporting Jews. Economic Nationalizing in Szatmárnémeti in 1944

Abstract

Abstract

The article provides a case study of Szatmárnémeti (Satu Mare, today in Romania) during World War II by using the concept of economic nationalizing. I investigate the motifs behind the de-Jewification and re-Hungarianization of the city and show that by 1944 the Hungarian leaders were convinced not only that the seizure of Jewish property would significantly improve their own situation, but also that the gradual implementation of this policy was the key reason for its previous failure. The article also discusses the ways in which the Hungarian elite aroused expectations among the Hungarian public that Jewish property would be redistributed as a “national gift” and the eagerness of members of practically all sectors of Hungarian society to acquire property that had been left behind by the deported Jews. I thereby argue that the relatively strong local support behind the deportation of Jews was driven, above all, by the economic interests of the local Hungarian community. The entire economy of the city was de-Jewified and re-Hungarianized when the Jews were deported in the summer of 1944. However, I also show that, ambitious plans for social redistribution notwithstanding, major redistribution of assets took place primarily within the housing sector. In general, the gains of the beneficiaries were sharply exceeded by the human and material losses for the city as a whole.
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Kinga Frojimovics and Éva Kovács   

Jews in a ‘Judenrein’ City: Hungarian Jewish Slave Laborers in Vienna (1944–1945)

Abstract

Abstract

In the early summer and autumn of 1944, more than 55,000 Hungarian Jews had been deported to Austria as forced laborers. 17,500 of them arrived in Strasshof from various Hungarian ghettos in the summer of 1944. There, a real “slave market” was opened to meet the demands of Austrian entrepreneurs who urgently needed manpower in their factories and farms. The deported families—mainly mothers, children and grandparents—had to work in Vienna and in Lower Austria on farms, in trade, and in particular in the “war industry” (for example, in construction companies, bread factories, or oil refineries) as forced laborers. The working and living conditions of the forced laborers varied widely depending on the camp in which they were housed, the branch of industry in which they had to work, and the conduct of the local military administration in the camps and the various workplaces. In this essay, we highlight two fundamental aspects of the topic which are connected to two different methodological approaches to socio-historical understanding. On the one hand, we re-localize the history of Hungarian Jewish slave labor in Vienna on the basis of historical sources, documents and testimonies. On the other, using the same testimonies and archival materials, we portray the everyday lives and typical survival strategies of slave laborers.
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Kata Bohus

Not a Jewish Question? The Holocaust in Hungary in the Press and Propaganda of the Kádár Regime during the Trial of Adolf Eichmann

Abstract

Abstract

In this paper, I examine the trial of Adolf Eichmann, portrayals of the trial in the contemporaneous Hungarian press, and the effects of the trial and the coverage on the formation of Holocaust memory in communist Hungary. The trial presented a problem for communist propaganda because it highlighted the destruction of Jews as the worst crime of the Nazi regime. While communist ideology’s anti-fascism defined its stance as “anti-anti-Semitic,” the Marxist-Leninist interpretation of World War II as a conflict between two opposing, ideologically defined camps (fascists and anti-fascists) made it difficult to accommodate the idea of non-political victimhood, e.g. the destruction of Jews on the basis of racist ideas and not because of their political commitments. Moreover, because of Eichmann’s wartime mission in Hungary, it was clear that the trial would feature a great deal of discussion about his activities there. Therefore, the Hungarian Kádár regime devoted considerable attention to the event, both within the Party and in the press. The analysis concentrates on two aspects: what did the highest echelons of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party intend to emphasize in the Hungarian coverage of the trial and what kinds of interpretations actually appeared in the press. In the end, the party’s political goals were only partially achieved. Control over newspapers guaranteed that certain key propaganda themes were included rather than ensuring that other narratives would be excluded. I argue that, while the Kádár regime in Hungary did not intend to emphasize the Jewish catastrophe and certainly did not seek to draw attention to its Hungarian chapter, as a consequence of the Eichmann trial there nevertheless emerged a narrative of the Hungarian Holocaust. Through various organs of the press, this narrative found public expression. Though this Holocaust narrative can be considered ideologically loaded and distorted, some of its elements continue to preoccupy historians who study the period today.
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Book Reviews

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Jewish Histories of the Holocaust: New Transnational Approaches. Edited by Norman J. W. Goda. Reviewed by Ilse Josepha Lazaroms

A World Without Jews: The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide. By Alon Confino. Reviewed by Benedetta Carnaghi

Perben és haragban világháborús önmagunkkal. Tanulmányok. [In Trial and in Anger with Our Roles in World War II: A Collection of Essays]. By Judit Pihurik. Reviewed by Enikő A. Sajti  

Political Justice in Budapest after World War II. By Ildikó Barna and Andrea Pető. Reviewed by Istvan Pal Adam

Der Holocaust. Ergebnisse und neue Fragen der Forschung. Edited by Frank Bajohr and Andrea Löw. Reviewed by Ferenc Laczó

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